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MHA Releases Medication for Addiction Treatment Guidelines

These MAT GUIDELINES to assist hospitals in developing appropriate programs to administer and/or prescribe Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) in their emergency departments or satellite emergency facilities. A new state law (Chapter 208) requires acute care hospitals that provide emergency services to have the capacity to initiate opioid agonist therapy to patients after an opioid-related overdose, and to directly connect the patients to continuing treatment prior to discharge.

“MAT is a very effective treatment option, and emergency departments offer a real opportunity to reach patients in that critical moment following an overdose,” said Ali Raja, M.D., the executive vice chair of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine, who chaired the MHA workgroup on MAT. “These guidelines share best practices for adoption of MAT in emergency departments, facilitate training and credentialing for ED clinicians, and identify ways to ensure continuity of care after patients are discharged. It’s all designed to give the clinicians the tools they need to accomplish the ultimate goal of supporting patients as quickly as possible and help them get their lives back.”

The new MHA guidance document provides general recommendations for development of an in-hospital MAT program, using best practices from several Massachusetts hospitals as well as facilities in other states that have or are considering MAT adoption. Each hospital is encouraged to consider and implement recommendations that are appropriate for their facility.

MHA developed the recommendations in collaboration with the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians and with practitioners from member hospitals, including specialists in emergency medicine, addiction medicine, behavioral health, and nursing. MHA has hosted two X-Waiver trainings and is coordinating additional trainings in January.